"We are not expecting the numbers to improve that well over the next few days as we're seeing the impact of Easter weekend and we want to understand that before we make any further decisions", Williams said.
"During the provincial emergency brake and the provincial stay-at-home order, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict health and safety measures in place, except in those regions where local public health units have directed schools in their areas to pivot to remote learning", Lecce said.
Ford made the announcement about Ontario's schools alongside Education Minister Stephen Lecce at Queen's Park Monday afternoon. "Bringing our kids back to a congregate setting in school after a week off in the community is a risk that I won't take", said Ford, "We know that the more COVID spreads in the community, the more likely it is to get into the schools, which will create massive problems for all of us down the road". The government says that data will be assessed on an ongoing basis and health officials will be consulted to determine when it will be safe to resume in-person learning.
The Province is experiencing record high daily case numbers and the amount of people in the ICU is over 500, causing surgeries to be delayed across Ontario.
Students in Ontario will be shifting to remote learning after the April Spring break. Another 4,401 new infections were discovered on Monday.
There was a rate of 9.7 percent on December 29 and January 4 during the peak of the second wave.
"We're going to be encouraging outdoor education. We know it has helped us in the Fall", said Lecce at the time.
Immediately following the announcement, Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca issued a statement calling for Lecce's dismissal.
COVID-19 numbers in the district have been on the decline, with 91 cases considered active, the lowest since January 10.
Medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said Monday the surging rates are being driven by more transmissible variants of concern in the community.
Unions have called for all teachers to be vaccinated before in-person learning resumes.
Francis Veneruz, chairman of Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, said it is disappointing that students won't be returning to the classroom, but he understands the decision by the province.
Last week, medicals officers in Toronto, Peel, and the Guelph Region ordered schools to close because of rising COVID-19 cases.